Students can learn how to help individuals achieve proper dental health by completing a centralized learning program from a vocational school. Several educational options exist in this field of study but students wanting to become a dental hygienist need to complete a vocational training program.
Completing a certificate or an associate’s degree program are the two opportunities available to become a certified dental hygienist. Students can earn the necessary knowledge needed to enter the workforce ready. The main tasks completed by a hygienist are done to assist a dentist while working directly with patients on their dental health. Typical tasks may include:
- Cleaning soft and hard deposits off a patients teeth
- Taking x-rays of a patient’s teeth
- Teaching patients about good dental hygiene
- Examining and recording any possible problem areas and diseases
These specific skills are learned in conjunction with an assortment of procedures and practices that make up the profession. Students are required to understand how to clean a patient’s teeth using all of the standard equipment and practices needed to accurately help a patient. This can include polishing teeth, developing x-ray film, and using ultrasonic technology. Some dental offices allow their hygienists to perform more advanced procedures like administering anesthetics, removing stitches, and placing different filling materials.
The general educational path for this field is earning an associate’s degree. Students learn all of the techniques needed for this field by working through a degree program that provides them with a focused curriculum. Dental anatomy and preventive treatments are covered to prepare students for their role inside the workplace. Pharmacology, radiography, microbiology, and preclinical hygiene are some general courses that are taken inside an associate’s degree program. Tooth and gum care is learned in courses that center on cleaning a patient’s teeth, providing physiotherapy, and educating individuals on hygiene.
Certificate programs provide students with a foundational understanding of the field that is transferable into an associate’s degree or a career. Introductory knowledge is learned as students work through courses in dentistry. Dental materials, hygienist periodontics, oral health, and public health courses are some subjects that are covered inside a typical program. Education teaches students the procedures for eliminating plaque, taking x-rays, and identifying cavities.
Certificate and associate’s degree programs prepare students for licensure. To begin a career student’s must be licensed by successfully completing a written and clinical exam. The American Dental Association provides the standardized test by examining if students fully understand every aspect of the field. Continuing education is possible at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level for students that wish to teach or provide clinical practice inside a school program.
Many vocational schools offer schooling programs for students that want to become a dental hygienist. The available programs can have students entering the field in as little as two years. Students should find a program at the dental hygienist school of their choice and begin working toward completing an accredited program today. Full accreditation is awarded to quality programs by agencies like the Commission on Dental Accreditation ( http://www.ada.org/117.aspx ). Enter the field a certified hygienist by taking advantage of the many degree opportunities.
DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised on our website.
Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP, LLC.